7 Signs You’re Secretly Dehydrated (That Have Nothing to Do with Thirst)

Staying hydrated is fundamental to feel good and function at your best. Did you know that the human body is made up of 60% water on average? We need H20 for a myriad of essential functions: from eliminating toxins to regulating body temperature, from lubricating joints to improving cellular, tissue and organ health. And these are just some of the super powers of water!

During the day, our body uses and loses water naturally – we sweat, we urinate, we breathe – and we cannot produce more on our own. We must therefore rely on external sources to replenish it correctly.

If you lose more water than you take in, you are considered dehydrated. But here’s the catch: “If you’re thirsty, you’re already moderately dehydrated,” says Dr. Tamika Henry.

While thirst is the most common sign of dehydration, there are many other, less obvious ways to tell if you’re low on water. Here you are seven signals mental and physical dehydration that may surprise you.

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Mental and Physical Signs of Dehydration

01. You have bad breath

Bad breath can have many causes, including dehydration. Saliva has antibacterial properties and its production requires water. When you are dehydrated, you may not produce enough saliva, causing bad breath.

02. You feel hungry

You may simply be hungry, but sometimes hunger pangs are actually a sign of thirst. Paying attention to your body can help you distinguish between hunger and thirst.

03. You have a headache

Headaches are one of the most common signs of dehydration, although there is no precise explanation. Some experts suggest that a lack of water can put pressure on the meninges, causing pain.

04. You have difficulty concentrating

If you’re having trouble concentrating, it might be time to drink some water. Even mild dehydration can cause cognitive problems.

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05. You are Constipated

Constipation can be caused by many factors, including dehydration. Water aids digestion and keeps everything moving.

06. You are irritable

Do you feel irritable or in a bad mood? Dehydration can affect your mood, causing irritability.

07. Your Skin is Less Elastic

Another sign of dehydration is the lack of elasticity of the skin. If your skin doesn’t snap right back into place after being pinched, you may be dehydrated.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The short answer: it depends. Factors that determine water needs include body size, level of physical activity, climate and diet. In general, listen to your body’s signals and make sure you drink water regularly throughout the day.

Remember that many drinks and foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, contribute to your hydration status. For example, a good subscription might include one cup of coffee in the morning, one cup of tea in the evening, five servings of vegetables and two of fruit daily, and a glass of water with each meal.

Monica Brimley
Hello, I'm Monica, a 32-year-old math enthusiast who loves to write articles about math brain teasers. I also enjoy sharing advice on home organization and cleaning tips. Join me as we explore the fascinating world of mathematics and create a more organized and clean living space together!